Teammates, friends and fans all felt betrayed by Ryan Braun’s role in the Biogenesis scandal that saw him accept a 65-game suspension on July 22. Braun vehemently denied using performing-enhancing drugs in the past, and now an apology and admission of guilt by the outfielder won’t erase the damage he did for at least one man in Major League Baseball.
After reports were made that the Brewers slugger plans to admit to using PEDs during his MVP season in 2011, as well as issue an apology to those he wronged, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson spoke out about the opportunity to address Braun face-to-face.
“If I get a chance to see Braun, I’ve got a question for him right to his face, you know?” Gibson told reporters before Sunday’s game. “Is he about rehearsed [enough] by now, you think? About ready to come out? He’s probably practicing at the theater school somewhere. Just you look at how things like that can influence people’s opportunities and an opportunity to do something like that.”
Braun’s suspension is personal to the manager as he is at least partly responsible for knocking the D-Backs out of the playoffs in 2011. Arizona fell to the Brewers in the 2011 National League Division Series, with Braun going 9-for-18 in the five-game series, chipping in four doubles and one home run. That same month, Braun would test positive under MLB’s drug program. In Game 5, the D-Backs lost 3-2 in 10 innings, and the outfielder went 2-for-3 with a walk and a double in the deciding game.
“I mean, all things considered, we should have won a game,” Gibson said of Game 5. “All things considered, the last game, we tied them up and had a chance to win it. But there were other times in my career where I did overcome cheaters with my teammates. We had our chance.”
Gibson continued his assault on the disgraced slugger and acknowledged that the press conference Braun held during spring training in 2012 — in which he strongly denied any wrongdoing — will influence how he reacts to the upcoming public apology the 29-year-old will issue.
“I’d been listening to his line of [expletive]. So you take it at face value.”